Day 136 – Special Take Two

Re-watching the Special

I had to watch the Doctor Who special a second time. I felt I needed to look at it from a different perspective. Knowing it was going to break the fourth wall a lot and include lots of nods and winks to the past re-calibrated the experience somewhat.

Also, note, spoilers… if you haven’t watched yet, you really shouldn’t be reading The Internets in the first place 😉

It’s still not what I’d consider the usual Moffatt-level fare. The plot wasn’t quite intricate and inventive enough, although there were a few moments it tried to.

The Fall of Arcadia
The Fall of Arcadia

On first viewing, in the first moment, I didn’t quite understand what made the credentials the queen had left so special. Clara making such a big deal of the impossible picture.

Sure, it’s unusual to get an oil painting with lasers from the 16th century, but with what you’ve been through with the Doctor, surely that doesn’t rank very high on the unusual-scale.

I wish I’d seen it in 3D in the cinema, because I’m sure that scene would have made instant sense and have been quite amazing. Watching straight into the depths of those oil paintings.

The flashback that follows has a lot of references to Omega in it. I wonder if this is some form of foreshadowing of what we might expect in Season 8. How much Gallifreyan history can we expect?

I hope a lot.

I found The Interface a bit annoying the first time through. But it was actually okay on second viewing. I guess I thought a weapon of that scale should somehow be more serious than she was. Maybe I still feel like that a little. But it does bother me less the second time through.

Most of the plot was actually fairly linear, but with lots of call-outs to earlier seasons and doctors. I cannot even begin to think how many I may have missed.

Showing how he married Queen Elizabeth was a nice touch.

The negotiation scene between the humans and the Zygons is very reminiscent of the scene with the Silurians in “The Hungry Earth” / “Cold Blood”. And the mirroring of the stand-off over the nuclear device under London (would you sacrifice millions? for the whole earth, yes) and the Doctor’s time-war dilemma (sacrificing Gallifrey for the whole universe) was a little too obvious and heavy-handed for my taste. A lighter touch here, I would have enjoyed more.

I did enjoy the solution to the Gallifrey problem though. Having it disappear in a way so that it isn’t destroyed but without being inconsistent with the apparent past works very well.

And Tennant ending on a repeat of his closing line “… because I don’t wanna go” was a very nice touch, and less sad this time around.

Favourite Lines

“Anything could happen!”
“For instance… a Fez…”

“We’re confusing the polarity”

Har Har
Har Har

“Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that?”
“They’re scientific instruments, not pistols!”

“What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them!?”

“Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?”

Lots of quipery fun.

More Doctors!

What I am hoping for now though… is that they will do something with two unexpected viable Doctors that we have gained in the course of this special.

The Eighth, still Looking Good
The Eighth, still Looking Good

Paul McGann only was the doctor for the tele-movie back in 1996, but 17 years on he could still very easily play the part. It’s a shame he was only in the 6 minute pre-special showing the genesis of John Hurt’s Warrior.

“Where are we going?”
“To the back of the ship!”
“Because the front crashes first…”

But my thinking is… there’s no reason they couldn’t do him a season as well. Why should there only be one doctor on air at a time?

He’d make a great action doctor.
And those bridges to the spire in Arcadia look made for running across.
Maybe another job for J.J. Abrams?

And then John Hurt… another opportunity. He doesn’t really look his 73 years in this special.

The War Doctor
The War Doctor

Why not expand upon the Time War some more?
A television special. Maybe 5-6 parts?
And something darker and grittier.
After all, Neil Gaiman has written for Who before.
He’d be perfect for the job.

And I’m quietly hopeful for Capaldi as well. All we’ve seen is eyes, but the intensity in them is intriguing. Are we getting something sharper this time?

Luckily Christmas is only a month away.

Day 37 – FoM

Today I received one more late birthday present. It has apparently taken a slow trip by mail, and unfortunately it has turned up too late for me to make a booking over the long weekend I have created for myself because that would have suited so well.

I got a voucher for Face of Man which, as the image can attest to, is a “Grooming Lounge”, which makes it sound a little like I’m getting sent to get my coat shampooed and blow-dried. Actually, that’s really not too far from the truth, is it?

A Beautifully Designed Menu
A Beautifully Designed Menu

It came with a booklet which can only be described as a very glossy menu for the available services. Seen above is the page related to massage packages:

The Art of Escape

Leave your worries at the door…

Firstly, a Steam/Infra-red Sauna followed by a 50 minute Massage using warm scented oil and hot towels, then drift into a Regenerate Facial (50mins) to address your skin needs and let the full benefits of the massage take effect.
You’ll feel like you’re returning from holidays.

The design of the brochure has a very retro style about it and frankly looks quite classy. If I squint I can ignore the slightly odd use of capitalisation and inconsistent labelling of durations. Heck, who cares about the words anyway… it’s essentially license to lie about and do nothing for a couple of hours.

And the brochure makes for a great memento.

Day 16 – Birthday Present – II

My grandmother and my parents were a bit behind on their gift-giving. Giving gifts from the Netherlands to Australia isn’t as easy as I’d like it to be. Instead of giving gifts they transferred some money and are now relying on me taking care of the actual buying part of this transaction.

There are many things that’d be useful.

Or fun.

Or both.

But the one thing that has been stuck behind hesitation on the shopping list for the longest is a good DSLR. A very good DSLR.

Canon 6D - Back
Canon 6D – Back

Not that long ago Canon released their latest prosumer DSLR camera… the Canon 6D. The first entry-level prosumer with a full-size sensor inside.

It’s light, it’s powerful, it has frikkin’ WiFi and GPS built into the camera.

And there is an app.

There is a free Android app that can connect to the camera via WiFi. The app acts as a view-finder. Which means the Android app will show the settings and the image the camera sees, allowing me to tweak the settings from anywhere before taking the shot. I’m not sure what all the uses of that might be yet, but I’m kinda curious to find out.

Canon 6D - Top
Canon 6D – Top

And then there is the fact that we have a whole group of friends with DSLRs; I think we will be having road-trips with many cameras in tow. I think I’ll mostly be crap at first. But I think there are some books about photography on my shelf I haven’t had a chance to read yet.

If this turns into a reality, I think you may have to suffer through me occasionally posting about my experiences trying to learn to take decent pictures.

But failure is entertaining isn’t it?

I plan to be entertaining.